When it comes to smart televisions, Google TV has been a growing buzzword for some time now. But what really is it?
At the heart of it, Google TV is the new face of the Android TV operating system. But it is much more than just that. Google TV delivers some serious benefits for users when it comes to accessing their viewing content, amongst other features.
Let's take a look at some of the best elements.
The new interface for Android TV
As the new Google TV interface sits atop the Android TV operating system, you still get all the benefits of the mature technology that has been in development since 2014.
Live, free-to-air channels plus their associated streaming services, such as 7Plus, 9Now, ABC iView, and more.
A range of paid subscription channels. These include; Netflix, Stan, Amazon Prime, Disney, Apple TV, and more.
Access to the Google Play Store. Only allows installation of apps that will work with your device.
A focus on app management. Install and enjoy additional functionality such as gaming, music players, YouTube and video playback, and viewing your own images.
What are the additional benefits that come with the new interface?
Google TV features
Overall, the new interface has been designed to be easy and intuitive to use, and to focus on user access to content. Google TV has added a clever variety of useability and accessibility features into the interface.
Here are the best ones.
All your content in one place
A major highlight of the new interface is the ability to view all your accessible content in one place. All your subscription services plus free channel content will now be viewable together. No longer do you need to flick between different apps plus the free-to-air TV guide trying to decide what you want to watch; everything is laid out together for you.
Even better, Google TV can make suggestions for new programs to watch based upon your previous viewing history across all channels. Did you like something you watched on Netflix; Google TV will now make recommendations across similar content from all your paid subscriptions plus live channels and free streaming services.
Minimum quality specifications for content providers
For content providers to be allowed to use (and therefore appear in) Google TV, they must meet strict new quality guidelines. This means that everything you watch will have a high minimum level of viewing standards. Great for all users!
Connection with other smart devices
Google TV connects with other smart devices (also allowing Google Assistant voice control). These can include;
- Google Nest devices. Access Google Nest functionality through your TV.
- Video doorbells. View video feeds on-screen.
- Smart lighting. Control the lighting around your home.
- Smart speakers. Play your favourite music tracks.
The list is growing…
Google Assistant voice control
The Google Assistant voice control functionality has been integrated into the Google TV interface. Simple voice commands now give you easy access to your settings, content, and other features.
Imagine sitting down for a movie night. You dim the lights, turn off the music, turn on your home theatre system, and make your movie selection. All of this from one location and with the power of your voice.
Access Google TV through other screen devices
You can access your Google TV account through other devices such as computers, smartphones, and tablets. All your selections and preferences will be available to you, just as they are on your television.
As an example, a work colleague suggests a great new program they have been watching that you like the sound of. You get on your smartphone, find the program, and add it to your viewing list. When you get home and sit down at your TV, your selection will be waiting for you.
Family Link control
The new Family Link feature allows greater control over age-based content for children by setting up a kids profile. You can set daily time limits on viewing, including bedtimes which prevent viewing outside those hours. You can control which apps they have access to and monitor the usage of those apps. And of course, there are parental controls allowing you to lock the account.
TCL and Google TV
Google TV comes pre-installed on all new TCL 4K and 8K TVs in the 2022 lineup.
Much thought has gone into the development of Google TV to make it intuitive, useful, and enjoyable. Whilst we can all reap the benefits now, we also look forward to the ongoing development of this amazing platform.